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Domestic video games affect children and adolescents in both positive and negative ways. Violent video games have a psychological effect on adolescents, allowing them to become more hostile as they get older. The market, on the other hand, is rich in entertainment and guarantees that children are not bored. According to Tumbokon, the video game industry generates about $12 billion a year (2014). This business has really expanded from $4 billion in sales in 1990, and it is important to consider that this commerce is growing so exponentially (Cesarone, Video Games and Children, 2017). There are also advantages of being a parent in this day and age of technology." As a parent in this day and age of technology, there are very high chances that your children have played games and it is, therefore, important to understand both the positive and negative effects of video gaming. In the early days of the 1980s, the computer games were more rudimentary but Nintendo entertainment system created the resurgence in the gaming industry that has revolutionized it completely, today there are educational and casual games which range from mobile ones to role playing (Gartner, 2013). Some parents detest video games as they view them as time wasters to their children and corrupt the brain but some scientists argue that playing video games while young makes one smart and analytical in problem-solving. However playing violent games lead to kids committing extremely anti-social behaviors and some children can turn violent.
What Video Games Mean to Our Children and Teenagers Today
In America alone, more than 81% of the children play a video game once a month or even more than once (Vargas, 2006). The statistics are even higher for children below the ages of 13 years as they tend to take more than 13 hours a day, which really take up their time.
The question people need to ask themselves is it necessary to stop their children from playing the video game? This entertainment is more prevalent in growing children and it will prove difficult to stop the habit because most children want to stay indoors (Mathew, 2009). Video games come in many forms and types. Therefore, it would be difficult to say out right that they are bad or good. There are a number of studies out there that elaborate the cons and pros of video games on both children and teenagers.
The Positive Effects of Video Games on Children and Teenagers
There is an argument by scientists that when a child is actively involved in playing a video game they gain high-level thinking which a rare skill not found in school (James, 2003). The positive effect of video games includes the following:
Logic and Problem-Solving Skill
Some video games enhance creativity to children by coming up with different ways of problem-solving such as the angry bird, the incredible machine and the cut the rope (Gartner, 2013).
The Coordination between Eyes and Hand Skills
The shooting games involve character running from the enemy and at the same time need to shoot back the enemy this requires a player to have coordination between eyes and hand which is a great skill (James, 2003). What the player is required to do is to have great coordination between the eyes and hands and interpret the situation to defeat the enemy by running away from danger and shooting back at the same time. Video games have been associated with better visual attention skills and even adults learn the spatial iconic attention through video games. Surgical skills have also been indicated to improve though playing video games in adults, the reason why fighter pilots are better today than those who did not participate in playing video games is that they have gained a rare skill over time.
Logistics Planning and Good Resource Management
The video game player is able to utilize resources in a better manner as they could have utilized in real life situation to be able to win a game. Sim City video game has indeed inspired a lot of children to take a course in urban planning and architecture (Cesarone, Video Games and Children, 2017). Other games that have been associated with skill development in resource management include the Age of Empires and Railroad tycoon.
Managing a Number of Objectives and Simultaneous Tracking of Many Variables Enable the Players to Multi Task Even in Real Life
In city development, for instance, an enemy emerges from nowhere and a player must be alert and destroy them before they bring the building done (Addtiction, 2007).
Quick Decision Making and Analytical Skills
In most instances, in the game, a player does not have the luxury of time this ensures the brain is always engaged and worked upon (Vargas, 2006). Real world stressful situations are trained in instances borrowed from the game according to a research done at the University of Rochester by one Dalphne Bavelier. Quick decision-making skills are easily developed by playing action games as suggested by the study (James, 2003). According to this study, the training of soldiers and surgeons can be done through video games. It is a better way of practicing than learning from real life situations. The two careers require quick decision making and lack of it is detrimental, a single decision made at the right time makes all the difference in the battle field or in the surgery room.
The University of Rochester also indicated in the same study that decision made must be accurate and this is what the video games teach students (Cesarone, Video Games and Children, 2017). Even in today’s world decision making is crucial while made on time and without compromising on the quality of the decisions made. In the video games, the players are able to make better decisions faster, which, in turn, prepare them for real life.
Anticipation and Strategy
In telescoping Johnson notes, that the gamer must be keen on the horizon and the possible problems that might occur (Addtiction, 2007).
Negative Effects of Video Games on Children and Teenagers
When gaming becomes the only thing a child wishes to do then there is a problem, because what that means is the child has become addicted and has become unwilling or unable to participate in the extracurricular activities (Vargas, 2006).
When you note your child slowing pulling away from social events and concentrating on gaming then they have become too preoccupied and this is dangerous for their development (James, 2003). Also, when children avoid some chores and other hobbies to play some video games then there is a big problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
When your child is engrossed in gaming for long periods of time then the relationships with close family members and friends become strained because little time is spent together. There is a dangerous website for the online gamers, which affects children negatively by teaching them to always talk about gaming and argue (Mathew, 2009). The site lies about gaming and advocates for excessive playing which is a danger to children.
When a video game is about violence then there is a big problem, because the gamers develop the affinity for violence and they tend to think that this is the solution to world problems (Mathew, 2009). Children who play violent games often develop aggressive tendencies with time and they may think real life is a similar scenario once of the most affected are the children who play the first person shooter video games.
When a child is too much into playing video games this has an adverse effect on their school work which is not good (Tumbokon, 2014). At school the children who are always involved in video games tend to lag behind, this is so because they tend to spend long periods gaming instead of learning. These children are also reserved and anti-social because they perceive socialization as time wasting. Gaming is also exhausting and works up the brain which, in turn, makes children lose concentration. More hours of gaming means fewer hours of sleep and sleep relaxes the mind which is very important.
When a child loses sleep due to video games and even skips some meals because they view them as time-consuming then their health will be compromised this has the direct effect on their health (Cesarone, Video Games Research Ratings and Recommendations, 2014).
Child obesity sets in when the children have less time to play actively, this inactivity coupled with huge intake of food leads them to add on extra weight. There have been medical problems associated with long periods of gaming such as backaches and eye strain, some feel pain on their wrists and elbows this has been noted by the University of Texas at Dallas (Cesarone, Video Games and Children, 2017).
Video gaming is quite controversial in today’s world like so many other issues affecting the society. There is a thin line between enough gaming and excessive gaming though according to studies done the children who engage in excessive games become addicted easily. Gaming needs moderation by the parents. It is their responsibility to understand what their kids watch because violent video games have negative effects on children.
On the other hand, there are games that are quite educational and aid in the development of the brain especially those that involve puzzle solving. When done in moderation video gaming brings joy to children and is a tool for cognitive development. When parents try to expose their children to cognitive development there is a risk of them becoming addicted to gaming and there is also a high risk of becoming obese. It is important for parents to know what their children watch and for how long, this is the only way to monitor them, and this is not too difficult to parents because the Entertainment Software Rating Board has ratings that offer concerned parents information about the content of the games.
“Gartner Says Worldwide Video Game Market to Total $93 Billion in 2013.”Gartner Says Worldwide Video Game Market to Total $93 Billion in 2013. Gartner, 29 Oct. 2013. Web. http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2614915
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Cesarone, Bernard. “Video Games and Children – Child & Adolescent Development: Overview.” Gracepoint. Gracepoint. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. http://www.gracepointwellness.org/28-child-adolescent-development-overview/article/1949-video-games-and-children
Cesarone, Bernard. “Video Games: Research, Ratings, Recommendations. ERIC Digest.” ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education Champaign, IL. November 1998. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
James Paul Gee. “What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy.” ACM Computers in Entertainment. Vol. 1, No. 1, October 2003. http://studentweb.niu.edu/3/~Z1629863/tportfolio/games.pdf
Matthew W.G. Dye, C. Shawn Green, and Daphne Bavelier. “Increasing Speed of Processing With Action Video Games.” A Journal of the Association for Psychological Science. Vol. 18 No. 6 (2009) : 321-326. http://psych.wisc.edu/CSGreen/dye_CDiPS09.pdf
Tumbokon, Chacha. “The Positive and Negative Effects of Video Games.”Raise Smart Kid. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. http://www.raisesmartkid.com/3-to-6-years-old/4-articles/34-the-good-and-bad-effects-of-video-games
Vargas, Jose Antonio. “Virtual Reality Prepares Soldiers for Real War.” Washington Post 14 February, 2006. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/13/AR2006021302437.html
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